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Former Transform marketer Simmons becomes MD of the MPA

Former Transform marketer Cindy Simmons will oversee the "rebirth" of the MPA, formerly the Manchester Publicity Association, after being appointed its first ever managing director, The Drum can reveal.

Simmons, who had been marketing director of the Transform cosmetic surgery group since 2008, becomes the MPA's first paid employee in its 90-year history.

The former head of Euro RSCG KLP will be responsible for relaunching the creative, digital, film and media organisation later this year.

And Mike Perls, who has also now been officially confirmed as MPA chairman, indicated that the original budget set aside for the managing director role was increased to secure Simmons' appointment.

Perls, CEO of communications agency MC2, said: "We are extremely fortunate to have Cindy on board. Her experience and understanding of the MPA’s aspirations made her our first choice for the position, so much so that the original budget set for the role was reconsidered to secure Cindy as the MPA’s first managing director.

“I’m certain that she will be successful in leading the organisation forward as a unifying body, bringing Manchester’s creative community together and representing the City with a strong, powerful voice.”

Simmons will outline the MPA's new strategy and its offer to media professionals including creatives, journalists and PRs in September.

She said: “I am extremely excited about the new strategy for the MPA and proud to be working with some of the best names in the region to drive the rebirth of the organisation – the MPA is the voice of the future and exists for the benefit of Manchester’s creative community.

“The MPA has a fantastic heritage which will be encompassed in the exciting new strategy, and I’m sure that members both new and old will appreciate the dynamic, vibrant MPA upon its launch in September.”

Simmons will be helped in her role by "a series of high-profile figures from within the creative sector", with board appointments due to be announced in the next week.

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